With the Open Graph Protocol, Any URL Can Be Treated Just Like a Facebook Page

We are here at f8, where Facebook has announced its vision for the “Open Graph,” as well as a new set of plugins (widgets) designed to write to and read from the Graph on any website. Facebook’s Mark Kinsey and Austin Haugen just explained in more detail how publishers, brands, and media companies can use the Open Graph together with the Like plugin and other plugins to get more distribution and engagement across Facebook.

Essentially, by using markup tags specified in the Open Graph protocol, any website can register itself as a unique object in the Facebook ecosystem. If a Facebook user visits your site Likes your page, you then have the ability to publish information into that user’s stream. In addition, you get an administration interface, and Insights metrics tools, just like those of any Facebook Page owner.

Implementation Options

You have the option to implement Facebook’s new Like button with either an XFBML tag or an iframe. The two are exactly the same, except that when you use the XFBML tag, users get the option to add a comment. If the user adds a comment, the action is published in the feed as a full story in the stream; if not, it’s published as a one-line story.

You can also choose how wide you want the widget to be. Facebook will automatically choose profile photo sizes based on what you specify, but you can also hide profile photos, or just show the “Like” button alone (not showing how many people have liked this page overall). There is also a dark version.

Finally, publishers can specify to change the language on the Like button to “Recommend” instead of “Like.” Facebook says this is intended to allow publishers the opportunity to avoid potentially awkward language when wanting to share some types of content with friends that they want to have a conversation about – for example, a news article on a devastating natural disaster.

How to Make Facebook Treat Your URL Just Like a Facebook Page

The most important part brands, business, and publishers should pay attention to is the new “Open Graph protocol.” Essentially, by adding a little bit of HTML markup to your page, you can enable Facebook to read structure metadata about your URL and treat it as a “permanent object” in the Facebook Graph.

This has 3 consequences:

1. You can now communicate with people who Like your URL just like Fan Page owners have historically been able to communicate with fans – publishing updates to their Facebook stream.

You have to go to a Facebook admin page to do this (that happens to look exactly the same as what a traditional Facebook fan Page provides), and there you’ll be able to publish updates to everyone who has liked your URL. You just specify who can see your admin page by adding one of the two following lines of code:

  • To assign a list of users as page admins:
    <meta property="fb:admins" value="USER_ID1,USER_ID2" />
  • To assign this page to a Facebook app: 
    <meta property="fb:app_id" value="1234567" />

2. You also get all the traditional analytics tools Facebook has historically provided Fan Page owners. Facebook’s new “Insights for Your Domain” shows you the number of people who’ve liked your Page, daily active users (DAU), daily new users, etc.

3. When Facebook gets metadata about your URL (when someone likes it), it’s able to categorize it and put it in the right slot on a user’s “Info” tab on the profile, and generally display it in a more rich way whenever it shows up in the stream.

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Leave a Reply

38 Responses to “With the Open Graph Protocol, Any URL Can Be Treated Just Like a Facebook Page”

  1. Facebook Launches the Open Graph At f8 — Our Coverage says:

    [...] With the Open Graph Protocol, Any URL Can Be Treated Just Like a Facebook Page [...]

  2. Mike Knoop says:

    What is the link at which these “admin pages” for LIKED websites appear? I haven’t found anything supporting this?

  3. Slakrase says:

    So when are you going to implement this on Inside Facebook?

  4. f8: Facebook übernimmt das Netz » netzwertig.com says:

    [...] Weitere Details zum Open Graph Protocol bei Inside Facebook. [...]

  5. Custom WordPress Plugins - Facebook | Twitterbits says:

    [...] With the Open Graph Protocol, Any URL Can Be Treated Just Like a Facebook Page (insidefacebook.com) [...]

  6. Jose Augusto says:

    Is anyone coding the WP Plug-in already?!

  7. Jersey Shore says:

    I see people only liking URLs that they want to get updates on. And will updates arrive as email notifications?

  8. Make No Mistake. Facebook Will Own You. — SocialFish says:

    [...] Graph - With the Open Graph Protocol, Any URL Can Be Treated Just Like a Facebook Page (Inside [...]

  9. Andryo says:


    What is the appID for facebook like button?
    I tried to put the javascript sdk code for open graph to one of my sites but it seems error.


  10. andi says:

    what is the downside of implementint the protocol from the perspective of sending info to FB. Also, what are the issues regarding putting the meta data in the header as opposed to the page?

  11. William Bakker says:

    I love the concept but I don’t think that ‘liking’ a URL is an opt-in for updates by the domain owner to the average user. They just ‘like’ the content, much like they ‘dig’ something. As a result, people will think twice before liking something and might jeopardize the whole intent. Facebook should reconsider this. Updates to a users newsfeed should be limited to friends and fan pages.

  12. Angelo Beltran says:

    I’m lovin’ the OG Protocol despite what the early and late majority are saying. The only beef I have is with the og:image property which keeps re-posting the content image on the admin page. Finally had to remove it until I find a better fix.

  13. Stylight says:

    I just added the “Like Button” to my site. I further added meta tags like ‘image’, ‘url’, ‘type’ etc. to each page.

    Unfortunately, it seems that the “Like Button” treats all may pages as they are the home page i.e. it ignores the meta tags.

    Any idea what I could be wrong in the why I implemented it?


  14. An Early Look at Facebook Open Graph Protocol Integration on News Sites | Adam Sherk says:

    [...] can also provide sites with additional reporting data. This Inside Facebook post has the details: With the Open Graph Protocol, Any URL Can Be Treated Just Like a Facebook Page Share this [...]

  15. Facebook's 'Like' and 'Open Graph' - a digest of the indigestable - A Sense of Community - Blogs - Brand Republic says:

    [...] waa-aay easier, through what they’re calling their Open Graph, for us to access ‘the Book from wherever we are on the Net. Jeremiah Owyang, predictably, is the go-to chap for detail, but the bottom line is [...]

  16. Bottomless says:

    @Mike Knoop
    You have to add the fb:admins meta tag in the header with your facebook user id and the link will show up next to the count of the like button

    @Jose Augusto
    Here’s the WordPress plugin:

  17. Todd Levy says:

    Hey all -

    Has anyone had any luck using fb:app_id, og:type and og:url to connect a web page to a Facebook application ID, then put a Like Button on that web page?

    I keep running into problems.

    1) If I try to use fb:app_id AND use og:type and og:url, I get an error when I use the Like Button…

    “You failed to provide a valid list of administators. You need to supply the administors using either a “fb:app_id” meta tag, or using a “fb:admins” meta tag to specify a comma-delimited list of Facebook users.”

    2) If I try to use fb:app_id and do NOT use og:type and og:url, it seems to work correctly, but the Like counts are all over the place (none, 300+, etc). And, as best I can tell there’s no way to track it within my app on Facebook even though the docs claim that you can.

    3) I tried using fb:admins with my userid. That worked, but I’d prefer not to manage them that way since I’ve got 100s of blog posts and don’t want to have that many individual pages in my Facebook account — nor do I want a public facing / crawlable Facebook page for every blog post.

    You can see the page I’m starting with here… http://jamtopia.com/phishtwit (NOTE: Music auto plays) …which acts almost like a microsite (which is why I want to use og:type=website on that page).

    If you view source you can see where I’m commenting out some of the meta tags so my users don’t see an error message.

    In any case, I’m not sure if that was clear at all, but if anyone has any pointers it’d be much appreciated.


  18. Erin says:

    How will this affect fan pages? Will we start seeing less and less interaction with fan pages and more and more interaction with the content itself? Does facebook realize this – is this what they want?

  19. Add Facebook Like Button / Social Plugins to WordPress Blog Posts | HyperArts says:

    [...] More on Open Graph from Inside Facebook [...]

  20. Off topic: Facebooks "Zuck" auf der f8, flaues Gefühl im Magen » Facebook, Keynote, Zuckerberg, Netzwertig, Protocol, Winkel » Kartellblog. says:

    [...] Zuckerbergs Keynote auf der f8, der jährlichen Entwicklerkonferenz von Facebook, hat gestern das Ganz Große Fass aufgemacht, der universale “like it”-Button kommt, jede Menge anderer Verknotungs- und Vernetzungsfeatures sowie das viel diskutierte Open Graph Protocol. [...]

  21. Delvinia - Facebook’s Next Big Step « says:

    [...] no longer acceptable to dabble in Facebook or play around with social networking. You are now connected to your customers in ways that were impossible last [...]

  22. 8 new Facebook plug-ins to socialize your site | Socialbrite says:

    [...] In short, Facebook plug-ins will allow you to turn any page on your site into a Facebook Page. [...]

  23. hwkd65 says:

    So, why no link to this page:


    Why is page generating iframe code that is leading to an ERROR after clicking:

    Error message being:

    “You may not use Facebook URLs with the Open Graph yet.”

    Is anyone addressing this issue?

  24. toyotasmile says:


    I have exactly the same problem as hwkd65 when I added this plugin in my webpage. Could someone please say, why is that problem?

    Missing some meta tag’s or some mistakes in generating iframe, etc…


  25. ian says:

    same problem as hwkd65 and toyotasmile. error You may not use Facebook URLs with the Open Graph yet

  26. Kenneth Egebjerg says:


    Where can I find the fb:admins-metatag?

    BG Kenneth

  27. William says:

    Same problem as hwkd65 and toyotasmile and ian…

    What is this Facebook is introducing motherfuker irritating steps….

    And no one can help….

  28. kadishmal says:

    I have the same problem as hwkd65. “You may not use Facebook URLs with the Open Graph yet.”

  29. craftconn says:

    It’s infuriating to plug in exactly the code that Facebook generates, and then get the message that I can’t use Graph, which i’m not even TRYING to use–I just want the simple Like button. Why has nobody responded to the multiple complaints about this???????????

    You may not use Facebook URLs with the Open Graph yet


  30. stephen says:

    Great article. But there is little info on the internet for the right implementation. Does anybody have a Dutch manual or example?

  31. just for help says:

    just add this meta tag

  32. FACEBOOK naujienos ir patarimai #50 | Komunikacija FACEBOOK'e says:

    [...] LIKE mygtuko funkcionalumas komentavimo funkcija. Anksčiau ji veikė tik  su XFBML tagu, o šiuo metu galima naudoti ir vartotojams įprastą IFRAME [...]

  33. game design schools says:

    Yes, this is interesting. I look forward to learning more about this.
    Thanks for sharing!

  34. @rif says:

    @Stylight, did you get answer to your question? Does anyone here know why the like button displays home page title rather than the target page title in the small like description.

    Appreciate your answer.

  35. Skif says:

    Hey, if you writing something, write correct values:
    Not a
    <meta property="fb:admins" value="” />
    <meta property="fb:app_id" content="” />
    Must be
    <meta property="fb:admins" content="” />
    <meta property="fb:app_id" content="” />

    Atribute “content”, not “value”!

  36. Facebook Timeline 2010 « You Can't Retweet a Coaster says:

    [...] changes helped marketers, others seemed to be direct attacks against us. The introduction of the Open Graph Protocol and social plugins like the Like Button have, in only a few months, begun to reshape the face of [...]

  37. Facebook Privacy – New Orleans SEO Replies to FOX8 says:

    [...] Graph allows a content provider to, like Google Analytics, track his links’ likes and clicks on Facebook, even without having a Facebook presence. While this might seem like nothing new to your loss of [...]

  38. Ecselis » Strange Tales of the missing 98% says:

    [...] possibilities. Introduced in 2010, it enabled website owners to convert their web pages into Facebook equivalent pages simply by pasting specific Metadata on those pages along with a Like [...]

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